Greta Gerwig's "Barbie" Made History at the Box Office — Now You Can Watch It From Home
"Barbie" is officially a billion-dollar hit! The Greta Gerwig-directed movie, which is now available to buy and rent digitally, hit theaters on July 21, sending fans into a bright-pink, over-the-top fantasyland where the most important person in the world is Barbie. Seventeen days after the film's release, Variety reported that "Barbie" surpassed $1 billion at the global box office, raking in $459 million in North America and $572 million internationally. Thus, it made Gerwig the first-ever solo woman filmmaker with a billion-dollar movie. "Barbie" is also the fastest Warner Bros. release (and eighth in the studio's 100-year history) to join the billion club, a record previously held by "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2," which accomplished the feat in 19 days.
For months, "Barbie"'s plot stayed mostly under wraps until Warner Bros. released the film's full-length trailer on May 25. In the nearly three-minute clip, all the Barbies — including star Margot Robbie's (the main Barbie) — blissfully enjoy their carefree lives in Barbie Land. That is, until Robbie's stereotypical Barbie shatters their reality with an existential crisis as she starts to lose her spunk (this includes her famous perched Barbie toe).
To get to the bottom of the mystery, she's instructed to go where no Barbie doll has gone before . . . the real world. With her Ken (Ryan Gosling) riding shotgun in her bubblegum-pink convertible, the two jet off to experience a whole new world, clueless to the trouble they'll soon get into.
An expanded peek into the "Barbie" universe came through a June 21 trailer, which features an intro message from Gosling and Robbie, who promised the "pinkest" film of the year. In the footage, Robbie explains to some human girls, "Basically everything that men do in your world, women do in ours ... Barbie is a doctor and a lawyer and so much more than that." The entire clip is set to Ice Spice and Nicki Minaj's "Barbie World" collab that samples the Aqua track "Barbie Girl."
Previously, Warner Bros. dropped 23 whopping character posters for Gerwig's long-awaited movie on April 4, announcing the role of nearly every cast member. Of course, fans already knew that Robbie stars as Barbie with Gosling as Ken, but the posters also confirmed that the movie is overflowing with plenty more Barbies, portrayed by actors like Issa Rae, Nicola Coughlan, Sharon Rooney, Hari Nef, Emma Mackey, Ritu Arya, and even Kate McKinnon. Additionally, the posters revealed for the first time that pop star Dua Lipa is in the film as a mermaid Barbie, and she even has a song on the movie's soundtrack.
A few hours later, Warner Bros. released the second teaser trailer for "Barbie," which gives a Beach Boys-infused look at Barbie Land and its many Barbie and Ken residents who soak up the sun and the color pink.
The first teaser for "Barbie" was released in December 2022, and the over-the-top footage paid homage to Stanley Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey" to hilarious effect. The clip opens with footage of a sunrise over a desert as a documentary-style narrator says, "Since the beginning of time, since the first little girl ever existed, there have been dolls." Little girls play with their dolls as the narrator continues, "But the dolls were always and forever baby dolls, until . . ." The narration fades as a massive version of Robbie's Barbie stands among the girls and winks at them. Utterly impressed, the girls begin smashing their baby dolls.
Many doubted that a "Barbie" movie would ever come to fruition, including Robbie, who explained in an interview with Fandango why she thought Mattel was going to pull the plug on Gerwig's script before they even got started. "The reason I didn't think they'd let us make it, honestly, is because the Mattel CEO is a main character," she said in a video published on June 21. Will Ferrell plays the fictionalized version of the CEO.
Robbie added, "Mattel itself is a character, and I just thought, 'They're never going to agree to this.' And then there was a lot of jokes in there that I was like, 'They're not going to let us get away with that.' But they did."
A June 27 article from Time about the making of "Barbie" revealed how Gerwig and Robbie won Mattel execs over. Robbie Brenner, the executive producer of Mattel Films, told the Mattel bosses of the movies, "You're just gonna white-knuckle it the whole time." And Richard Dickson, COO and president of Mattel, told the outlet that he actually flew to the London set at one point to argue with Gerwig and Robbie over a scene he thought was off-brand. Gerwig and Robbie performed the scene for him and changed his mind. Those weren't the only "Barbie" battles for Gerwig.
In a Nov. 25, 2022, episode of Lipa's podcast "At Your Service," — before it was revealed that the singer is in the film — the director shared why she herself had doubts when she started filming "Barbie." "It was terrifying. I think there's something about starting from that place where it's like, 'Well, anything is possible,'" said Gerwig. "It felt like vertigo starting to write it. Like, where do you even begin? What would be the story?"
However, Gerwig's fear is part of what drew her to the "Barbie" project in the first place. "Usually, that's where the best stuff is. When you're like, 'I am terrified of that,'" she said. "Anything where you're like, 'This could be a career-ender,' then you're like, 'OK, I probably should do it.'"
Despite her trepidation, saying yes to the project wasn't difficult for Gerwig. When Robbie asked her to write it, she immediately agreed. "She came to me and said, 'Would you be interested in writing this?'" Gerwig said, adding that she volunteered her partner Noah Baumbach without even asking him. "And I said, 'Yes!' And then I said, 'And Noah would like to write it too.' And I had not really talked to Noah about this," she added. "I don't know! I think I had a six-month-old baby when I said yes. And I wasn't necessarily running everything by him . . . It was in March of 2020 that Noah said, 'Are we meant to be writing a "Barbie" movie?' I said, 'Yes.' He said, 'I don't have any ideas for that! Why didn't you sign us up to write a different thing?' And I was like, 'Because I have a feeling. I like Margot and I have a feeling.'"
"Barbie" appeared to have wrapped filming in July 2022, when stars including Rooney, Nef, Alexandra Shipp, and Ana Cruz Kayne all posted snaps from production on their social media — including a photo from that March that featured Robbie and Gerwig celebrating in the foreground. "It's a wrap for the Doll! see you in Barbieland," Nef captioned the picture on Instagram.
Shipp also shared a carousel of behind-the-scenes photos, as well as some hot pink Barbie clip art on her Instagram to commemorate her time on the production. "Thank you @barbie," the actor captioned her post. "Thank you #GretaGerwig for trusting me to portray one of your fabulous Barbies Thank you everyone who made this experience possible 💖 I felt all the feels and love these humans so hard with all my strength! thank you cast, thank you crew, thank you production without everyone this experience wouldn't be possible thank you thank you THANK YOU!"
Back in the summer of 2022, Warner Bros. released the first film stills of Robbie as Barbie and Gosling as Ken, complete with an orange-hued six-pack and bleach-blond hair. That June, Gosling and Robbie were also spotted on the set of "Barbie" dressed as their characters, showing off some of Barbie and Ken's most iconic outfits.
Robbie admitted in a September 2022 interview with Jimmy Fallon that she was "mortified" to have someone take photos of them in costume on set. "We look like we're like laughing and having fun, but dying on the inside. Dying. I was like, 'This is the most humiliating moment of my life,'" she explained.
Ahead, here's everything you need to know about the "Barbie" movie, including some of its major cameos.
— Additional reporting by Chandler Plante and Njera Perkins.
Ryan Gosling Sings as Ken in "Barbie" Clip
On July 10, Warner Bros. released a minute-and-a-half clip of Gosling singing the song "I'm Just Ken" in the movie. The full track was released as part of "Barbie: The Album."
"Barbie" Trailer #2
To mark the start of summer, Robbie and Gosling previewed the "pinkest" movie of the year in a new teaser released in June.
"Barbie" Trailer #1
Warner Bros. released a colorful full-length trailer for the "Barbie" movie on May 25.
"Barbie" Teaser #2
Warner Bros. released a nearly two-minute "Barbie" teaser trailer on April 4.
"Barbie" Teaser #1
Warner Bros. dropped the first teaser for "Barbie" on Dec. 16, 2022.
"Barbie" Movie Cast and Cameos
Robbie stars as stereotypical Barbie with Gosling as Ken. America Ferrera and Ariana Greenblatt are humans, Gloria and Sasha, who somehow get sucked into Barbie's orbit and help her on her journey. McKinnon, Shipp, Mackey, Rae, Nef, Rooney, Cruz Kayne, Coughlan, and Arya are all Barbies. Simu Liu, Scott Evans, Ncuti Gatwa, and Kingsley Ben-Adir are all Kens. Michael Cera and Emerald Fennell are friends of Barbie and Ken, Allan and Midge. Ferrell's character is the CEO of Mattel, and Connor Swindells and Jamie Demetriou play two of his employees. Helen Mirren serves as the story's narrator. John Cena plays a mermaid version of Ken, and Rhea Perlman plays Barbie inventor Ruth Handler. Rob Brydon plays Sugar Daddy Ken and Tom Stourton plays Earring Magic Ken.
As for other weird Barbie variations, Mette Narrative plays Barbie Video Girl, Marisa Abela plays Teen Talk Barbie, and Lucy Boynton plays Proust Barbie. Erica Ford plays Skipper and Hannah Khalique-Brown plays "Growing Up" Skipper. Costume designer Ann Roth plays the woman on the bench.
Warner Bros.'s logline for the film reads, "After being expelled from 'Barbieland' for being a less-than-perfect doll, Barbie sets off for the human world to find true happiness." Ken goes with her, and both of them are forever changed by what they learn in the real world.
"Barbie" hit theaters on July 21, and the movie became available to buy and rent digitally on various platforms, including Prime Video and Google Play, on Sept. 12, per Deadline. It is expected to stream on Max sometime before the end of the year.
"Barbie" Movie Writer and Director
Gerwig is the director. Her previous work includes 2017's "Lady Bird" and 2019's "Little Women." She cowrote "Barbie" with her partner, Baumbach. The pair previously collaborated on 2012's "Francis Ha," which Gerwig starred in.
Margot Robbie "Barbie" Poster
Robbie's poster reads, "Barbie is everything."
Dua Lipa "Barbie" Poster
Dua Lipa's poster reads, "This Barbie is a mermaid," and features her as a blue, sparkly mermaid.
Nicola Coughlan's "Barbie" Poster
"Bridgerton" star Nicola Coughlan's poster reads, "This Barbie is a diplomat."
Issa Rae's "Barbie" Poster
Issa Rae's poster reads, "This Barbie is President." In the photo, she wears a sash that says president.
Helen Mirren's "Barbie" Poster
Mirren's poster reads, "She's the narrator."
Kate McKinnon's "Barbie" Poster
McKinnon's "Barbie" poster reads, "This Barbie is always in the splits."
Emma Mackey's "Barbie" Poster
Mackey's poster reads, "This Barbie has a Nobel Prize in physics."
Ana Cruz Kayne's "Barbie" Poster
Cruz Kayne's poster reads, "This Barbie is a Supreme Court Justice."
Scott Evan's "Barbie" Poster
Evans's poster reads, "You guessed it. He's a Ken."
Kingsley Ben-Adir's "Barbie" Poster
Ben-Adir's "Barbie" says, "He's a Ken too."
Will Ferrell's "Barbie" Poster
Ferrell's "Barbie" poster reads, "Please call me mother." Sure!
Ncuti Gatwa's "Barbie" Poster
Gatwa's "Barbie poster says, "Ken again!" He's dressed like a country singer with a guitar and red cowboy hat.
Hari Nef's "Barbie" Poster
Nef's poster reads, "This Barbie is a doctor."
Ryan Gosling's "Barbie" Poster
Gosling's poster reads, "He's just Ken."
Sharon Rooney's "Barbie" Poster
Rooney's poster says, "This Barbie is a lawyer."
Alexandra Shipp's "Barbie" Poster
Shipp's poster says, "This Barbie is a celebrated author."
America Ferrera's "Barbie" Poster
Ferrera's poster says, "She's a human."
Ariana Greenblatt's "Barbie" Poster
Greenblatt's "Barbie" poster says, "She's also human."
Michael Cera's "Barbie" Poster
Cera's poster says, "There's only one Allan." If you don't quite remember Allan, he is a discontinued doll that was meant to be one of Ken's friends.
Simu Liu's "Barbie" Poster
Liu's "Barbie" poster reads, "He's another Ken."
Ritu Arya's "Barbie" Poster
Arya's poster reads, "This Barbie has a Pulitzer."
Emerald Fennell's "Barbie" Poster
Fennell's "Barbie" poster announces, "She's Midge." Midge is also a real Barbie doll who was introduced at the same time as Skipper (Barbie's younger sister, who does not seem to be in the movie). She was first released in the 1960s, and then rereleased in the 1980s as Allan's wife. Mattel even sold a pregnant Midge doll during that time.
Jamie Demetriou's "Barbie" Poster
Demetriou's poster reads, "He's a suit."
Connor Swindells's "Barbie" Poster
Swindells's poster reads, "He's like an intern or something."
"Barbie" Official Poster
The official "Barbie" poster was also released on April 4 and features Robbie's Barbie and Gosling's Ken lounging on a big letter B.